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Culver City Fire Department Halloween Safety Tips

 

October 28, 2021

As you prepare for Halloween this year, the Culver City Fire Department wants you to keep a few safety tips in mind to ensure a fun time for all.

Costumes

Purchase costumes made of flame resistant or flame retardant material.

When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Masks can obstruct vision-consider using make-up instead.

Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.

Provide children with glow sticks or flashlights to help them to see, and to be seen by drivers.

Trick-or-Treating

Young children should always be with an adult.

Trick-or-treat in groups.

Remind children to cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again before crossing. Walk; do not run across the street.

Only approach houses that have a porch light on or outside lights on.

Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.

Closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it. If in doubt, throw it out.

Decorations

Keep decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.

Use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in jack-o-lanterns.

When using electrical lighting to decorate your home, make sure it is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters, make sure there is a clear path to your door and your porch light is on.

Driving

Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

Los Angeles Department of Public Health Guidance

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health offers many suggestions on how to reduce your risk of COVID-19 while celebrating Halloween. Luckily many Halloween activities can be held outside, but there are still risks to consider, especially with the level of COVID-19 circulating in the community.

When planning Halloween activities, think about your and your family's level of risk and remember where COVID-19 spreads more easily:

Closed spaces with poor air flow

Crowded places with many people nearby

Close contact settings especially where people are talking, laughing, screaming, or breathing heavily close together.

If there are unvaccinated persons in your household, choose the safer Halloween options. This is especially important for unvaccinated older adults or people with certain medical conditions, or vaccinated persons with weakened immune systems. Visit the Reducing Risk website to learn more about staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Get Vaccinated Now to Be Ready for Halloween. If you and/or your family are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, make it a priority to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This will provide extra protection while celebrating the holiday. Get vaccinated against the flu as well.

Safer Halloween Options

Safer Halloween options are situations where it is easier to keep a distance from others, wear a face mask correctly, and avoid mixing with a lot of different people, especially if you don't know their vaccination status and recent risks. Ideas for Safer Activities Include:

A scavenger hunt - give your kids a list of Halloween-themed things to look for outdoors, like different types of decorations. Keep a distance from people outside your household.

Hold a virtual costume party online.

Exchange candy with families you know. Drop off a Halloween treat at the doorstep to surprise the kids. Trick-or-treat inside your home by hiding candy for your kids to find. For a fun surprise, hide yourself, too! Have a spooky movie night or a Halloween craft or pumpkin carving party with the family.

Organize a neighborhood costume parade outdoors. Don't forget to physically distance. Bring and wear a face mask in case it gets crowded.

Trick-or-Treating

Door-to-door trick-or-treating brings many different households into close contact, especially if people gather on doorsteps and walkways or congregate at popular sites. "Trunk or treating" (where trick-or-treaters go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats) can have similar risks.

Here are ways to make these activities safer:

Trick-Or-Treaters

Keep your group small. Limit your group to your immediate household or to a small group that you know well. Avoid mixing with many different families. Don't be afraid to ask about people's vaccination status and recent risks before deciding who is safe to trick-or-treat with.

Wear a face mask. Be creative and make your face mask part of your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19.

Do not wear a costume mask over a face mask. It can make breathing more difficult.

Wear a face mask if you are in a crowded outdoor place and if you must be indoors with others.

Make sure that everyone in your group wears a face mask consistently and correctly if your group includes different households, especially if there are people who are not fully vaccinated.

Keep your distance from other groups of trick-or-treaters. Wait on the sidewalk at least 6 feet from other groups. Don't gather with other groups on porches and at front doors.

Keep hands clean. Carry hand sanitizer so that kids can clean their hands while trick-or-treating. Remind kids to not eat or touch their face with unclean hands.

Be flexible. If a house or street is crowded, come back later or go to another less crowded street.

Avoid indoor spaces. Wear masks at all times when you are indoors with people from other households.

Treaters

If you want to give out treats, think about the level of risk you're willing to take. If you greet people at the door, you will be in close contact with many different people. If you are not fully vaccinated or you are at high risk for getting sick from COVID-19, opt for safer Halloween choices. Reduce Risk When Giving Out Treats:

Give out treats outdoors.

Set up a grab and go treat station outside your door. Place goodie bags at least 6 feet away from you for families to pick up.

Wear a face mask if you answer the door to trick-or-treaters. Consider wearing a face mask that provides a higher level of protection such as an N95 respirator or double mask (wear a cloth face mask over a surgical mask).

Use tape to mark spots six feet apart on the way up to your door where people can wait.

Use fun ways to give the candy while keeping your distance. Such as sliding the candy down a wrapping paper tube into trick-or-treat bags.

Halloween Tips for All Ages

Halloween is not just a holiday for kids, so here are some tips for teen werewolves and adult ghosts and ghouls:

Keep gatherings small and outdoors. If it must be indoors, improve the air flow by opening windows and doors if it is safe to do so.

Avoid indoor haunted houses where people may crowd together and scream. People spray tiny droplets when they yell or scream. The droplets can build up indoors, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 if someone is infected.

Avoid crowded places. Being in crowds, especially indoors, puts you at a higher risk.

Wear a face mask. Incorporate a face mask that covers your nose and mouth snugly into your costume. A costume mask is NOT a substitute for a face mask that protects against COVID-19. Wear the mask whenever you are inside with other people or in crowded outdoor spaces.

Be flexible. Be willing to change your plans or leave if you feel uncomfortable or find yourself in a place where COVID-19 can spread more easily. For example, indoors in a loud crowded bar or restaurant with a lot of people who are not wearing face masks. Thank you for helping to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for neighbors, children, and everyone in the community. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Getting Vaccinated is the Best Way to Protect Against COVID-19

To find a free vaccine near you, visit the LA County Department of Public Health's website or call the Public Health Vaccine Call Center at (833) 540-0473, open daily 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM. No appointment is needed at many locations and free transportation may be available. You do not need insurance and you will not be asked about your immigration status. In-home vaccination is available

 

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